Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seven Things

Carol at May Dreams Gardens tagged me for this meme a little while back. The idea is to reveal seven random things about yourself your readers may not know. I did a similar meme last year, and had to ruminate a bit to come up with a few more.

Without further ado, here are my seven things:

1. I'm a lefty. On the last day of kindergarten the teacher insisted Mom must train me to be right-handed over the summer. Mrs. Meyerbach was a seamed-stocking, orthopedic-shoe-wearing, old-fashioned, kind, yet authoritarian throwback to the days when left-handedness was believed to be sinister. Fortunately Mom disagreed, reassured me there was nothing evil about being left-handed, and sensibly allowed me to be myself, left-handedness and all.

2. I learned to sew, crochet, and embroider as a child, but never learned how to knit. Mom tried to teach me, but I could never quite figure it out, probably because I'm left-handed. ;)

3. One of my maternal great-grandfathers was a cantor at the synagogue, and sang in the NY Metropolitan Opera. One of his sons was a Broadway, Hollywood, television commercial, and industrial film actor. I didn't get the performer gene from them - don't like being the center of attention.

4. I'll be a grandma for the second time early next year. K, the oldest and her husband are expecting their first child. We couldn't be more thrilled. The ultrasound photo is several weeks old, and mama and baby have both grown since then. ;)

5. The Middle One and the Youngest were born at home (on purpose.) The doctor was five minutes late for the birth of the Middle One. As quickly as she decided to be born, in the middle of the night in the middle of a blizzard, we couldn't have made it to the hospital if we'd tried. I was grateful we were prepared to welcome her to the world at home, and grateful she wasn't born in the middle of the back seat of the car in the middle of a snowdrift.

6. For as long as I can remember, I've had a fear of heights. As a child I had recurring dreams of falling down the stairs, and of flying like a bird (just get a running start and flap your arms.) You won't ever catch me on the new Willis (formerly Sears) Tower Ledge. I've never been able to perfect flying, but have fallen down the stairs a few times - sprained an ankle once, and cracked my tailbone another time. The tailbone incident happened when George was a puppy and I tripped over him on the stairs. After that I always made sure he went down the stairs ahead of me.

7. Besides my family and close friends, one of the people I've always admired most was a girl I knew in grade school. She was always kind. I never heard her say a bad thing about a single soul. When the kids at the bus stop started trashing someone, she had a graceful way of putting a stop to it without alienating the mean kids or making them feel threatened. When the kids on the playground made fun of the kids in the special-needs class, she found a way to stop it without becoming a target herself, and she made friends with the special-needs kids. She had a special kind of courage and a special kind of grace. After high school I never saw her again, but I'll always remember and admire her.

One thing you may already know about me is I'm not big on rules. So rather than tag anyone I'm issuing an open invitation for anyone else who hasn't been tagged yet and wants to play to post seven things about yourself your readers may not know.

If you decide to take the challenge, I'd love it if you'd come back and leave a link to your post in the comments.


  1. Thanks for joining in and congratulations on the upcoming birth of your 2nd grandchild! It is fine to know a little more about the people behind the blogs...

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. Congrats on the new baby coming!

  3. Thanks Carol - we're very excited. I've been enjoying reading the posts in the lastest round of this meme.

    Thank you Tina!

  4. Wow, you came up with some really great things for your meme. Thanks for sharing some neat things about yourself. By the way, you look way to young to be a grandma!

  5. Linda, we are similiar in many ways! Fun knowing you are a crafty lefty! I can bring knitting needles to Spring Fling and give you a! What a perfect ultrasound..usually can't tell which end is which! Congrats!

  6. Welcome to the new baby-in-the-making, Linda.

  7. Hi Linda, another grand, oh how wonderful! We will be sending good thoughts their way. I too am a lefty whose teacher thought needed changing. My dad, like your mom straightened her out. But what struck me about your seven things, I read this post last night and had time to mull it over before commenting, was the girl who stood up for the kids being made fun of in school. That she knew how to do it without hurting feelings or causing problems is still amazing to me. We all know of kids, bullies really, who would make fun of the special needs kids. How I wish I could have stopped it in such a way. A special gift, for sure, and one that would always be remembered too. Thanks for that uplifting tale. :-)

  8. Thank you Rachel. Glad you enjoyed my seven things.

    When I was younger I didn't really like looking so much younger than I am. Now I'm ok with it though!

    Hi Lynn, my mom thought I might learn to knit more easily with another lefty to teach me, but we didn't know any knitting lefties. My best friend in high school was a good knitter, and she was a lefty too, but by then I figured I was hopeless as a knitter!

    Thank you Helen!

    We are beyond excited about our coming new baby Frances!

    Good for your dad standing up your rights as a lefty!

    That girl was pretty special. I've often wondered where life took her. I imagine her gifts have enhanced even more lives since I knew her way back then. The world could use more people like her.

  9. Dear Linda, I'm married to a lefty and as he likes to remind me~~"We lefties are always in our right mind."

    What a wonderful talent your friend had~~To be so capable at such a young age~~I do hope she is out there touching the lives of others with her wisdom.

    Have a sweet weekeend.


  10. Dear Gail, I think I spend most of my time in my right brain too. The Lawn Man's a righty. Hmmm. . . I don't think I know any lefties married to lefties.

    That girl was pretty amazing, especially so young. I first met her in 5th grade, after we moved from the city to the 'burbs.

    It was pretty cool seeing kids stop dead in their tracks with their bullying with just a few words from her. Even neater was how she never seemed to alienate anyone or end up a target herself. Everyone seemed to respect her. I'm not even sure it was the words she used. It seemed more like her aura, or maybe it was a combination of traits.

  11. I already knew about the fear of heights and about you being a grandma which surprised the hell out of me when you told me. Congrats on becoming a grandma again. That ultrasound picture is probably the only one I've ever seen where I thought it actually looked like a baby and didn't have to squint my eyes to see the baby.

  12. MBT, I think we must have some pretty good genes in our family. It seems to me all of us look younger than we are. Especially considering how fair-skinned we are, it's kind of surprising. Maybe it has something to do with our optimistic, young-at-heart attitudes. I'm a little surprised all the gray hair doesn't give away my age.

    I was pretty amazed by the ultrasound too - I think this technology has come a long way in the last couple of years. I really do think our new grandchild-to-be already looks like his/her cousin! It will be interesting to see when the munchkin is born if he/she really does look like our little guy.

  13. Hi Linda:
    What an interesting post and what a heart-warming story about the girl in school you admired. I try to teach my own girls that - to stand up to people who pick on those that can't defend themselves. It's a hard task too - especially in these times. Thank you for sharing that lesson of kindness to all of us ...

  14. Hi,

    I could not find an email to contact you but I had a couple of questions.

    I have a 2 year old garden with a river birch, 3 pear trees, a gingko and a bloodgood japanese maple.

    I want to trim the birch but have been told to wait until Fall. Is it a good time to do so yet?

    Also, a friend from Seattle was visiting and he noticed that I had lots of mulch piled high everywhere. I use it to cover the manure I have been fertilizing all summer with. He told me that I should not put it directly around the base of the trees. That I should leavea 3 foot diameter circle around the base of each tree. IS this true?

    Also, when is the last time (approx) that you would fertilize your plants this year. I ahve been doing so almost every month. I have switched from manure to granules as I am tired of the flies that the manure attracts.

    Any help you could provde would be appreciated.



  15. LOL, I never even noticed you were a lefty! My father-in-law was left-handed but forced to become right-handed, by his own parents who were some sort of strict religion. (Later in life he went back to being left-handed.) It's just weird to me people would force a kid to feel unnatural about something that is so natural! Glad your mom didn't buy into it. George was so cute as a puppy. My great-grandmother's dream was to be an opera singer. I don't know how genetics work, because neither my mom or I can sing (no idea about my grandmother). And yay! about being a grandmother again. Another little gardener to train, LOL! ;-)

  16. I'm glad your mother was so sensible to let you be. I remember the misery my brother went thru as he was not allowed to be left handed at school.

    A ranny for the second time? Surely that can't be right as you look much too young for that. ;-) But heartfelt congrats anyhoo, Linda!

    In my country most babies are born at home, having your baby delivered at a hospital is only done when there are complications.

    Afraid of heights? How odd, I am afraid of depths myself. Heights don't frighten me at all. I can look at a very high skyscraper and be not afraid at all. Now put me on top of it where I will be able to look into the abyss and , boy am I scared. ;-)

    Fun post, it's great to get to know you a bit better!

  17. Hi Beth! Glad you enjoyed the post. It's sure not easy standing up to bullies and meanies. I think you're right - it's even more of a challenge now than it was when I was a kid, and potentially more dangerous too.

    Hello Walter, it should be safe to prune your birch tree now that birch-borer season is past.

    Mulch around trees shouldn't be more than 3-4" deep, and should kept back a few inches from the trunk to prevent moisture and insects from damaging the bark. Three or four inches, not feet, away from the trunk is fine.

    The last time to fertilize varies by climate. As you know, fertilizing promotes new growth. In a climate with cold winters, some experts say not to fertilize in the fall, some say fall is a good time to fertilize. The argument against fall fertilizing is that tender new growth needs time to harden off before plants enter their winter dormancy period. The argument for fall fertilizing is it can actually help plants be more winter-hardy, encourages strong root growth, and prepares them for strong spring growth. I personally don't generally fertilize in the fall. If you do fertilize in fall, it's probably best to avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers since they encourage more new leafy growth.

    Manure is a good soil amendment if it has been aged, or composted before applying. Well-rotted, aged, composted manure won't attract flies.

    Hope this helps!

    I think it's weird too Monica. It's pretty amazing some of the superstitions and negative connotations attached to left-handedness in previous generations.

    George's puppy cuteness is one of the reasons I didn't want to see him when he was little! I knew I'd fall in love with him. K rescued him and his 11 siblings. She kept one of the puppies and found homes for the rest through friends and a couple of weekend pet adoption fairs. George was the last one left. I asked her to take him to one last adoption fair, and if no one adopted him, I would. Of course, one look at him, and I was in love. I've never regretted that decision. He is such a sweetheart.

    Hi Yolanda, those silly old customs and superstitions surrounding left-handedness boggle my mind!

    Yep, a granny again! My first grandchild is already in first grade.

    K and her husband have waited for their first child a long time. I'm so excited and happy for them, for me, and for the whole family. My grandson will be so happy having his first little cousin.

    There's a lot I could say about the US tradition of hospital birth. . . I'm just really glad I had the choice to have my babies at home.

    I have a hard time looking up at a high skyscraper as well as looking down from one. I hadn't thought of it that way - in actuality, it's the depths and the abyss that's the really scary part. For me, looking down is a lot worse than looking up. I prefer my feet on terra firma!

  18. So you are a lefty... aha, I always find it difficult to play table tennis against a lefty... very tough and painful!!! ~bangchik

  19. Linda, I don't know how I missed this post--sorry! Congratulations on the second grandchild to be--seeing the sonogram, I can feel your excitement.
    My husband is a lefty, and now one granddaughter is, too, so they share a special bond. I've always thought lefties were more creative--every art teacher I knew was left-handed:)

    I enjoyed your last point; that young girl will probably never know how many lives she touched. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more people could inspire others to show kindness and tolerance in the same way?

  20. Ahhhh Garden Girl you got that kindness gene also as it takes one to know one. Congrats on the new baby. Grandchildren are the best.

  21. Lefty gardeners of the world unite! ;-) Or perhaps, Lefty gardeners of Chicago unite!! We could form a club ;-) Cheers!

  22. Hi B&K, we used to have some pretty fierce table tennis competitions at home when I was a kid, and I was pretty good at it then, but pretty rusty these days - I suspect if we had a match now you'd find me very easy to beat!

    Thank you Rose, we're thrilled! K's on her way up to Mom's as I write this - I've been here all week, playing in the garden, walking in the woods, and visiting with Mom and her Garden Buddy. Can't wait to see K and check out the belly - it's been a few weeks!

    I like to think I'm pretty creative, never really thought so as a kid, but realize it more as I get older.

    It sure would be wonderful if there were more people like my grade school friend. The world can use as much kindness as it can get!

    Layanee, likewise to you on the kindness gene! :)

    I couldn't agree more - nothing like grandchildren. I can hardly wait to see and hold our new little one.

  23. Thanks for sharing, Linda ... I see from this post that you are not only beautiful on the outside but inside as well ... but I knew that! (I too ... have a fear of heights yet love flying in my dreams and ... thrilled to have a new grandbaby on the way)

  24. Hi Avis, LOL! I wonder how many members we could drum up. I suspect there are a lot of lefty gardeners.

    Thank you Joey - what a lovely thing to say. Funny thing - I'm afraid of heights but not afraid of air travel. I like window seats, and love looking down from a plane. Don't like the take-offs and landings though, and turbulence makes me nervous. Congratulations to you on your expected new grandbaby!!! How exciting!

  25. Belated congrats on the 2nd grandchild's coming.

    Congrats also on winning Blotanical's Best Illinois blog.

  26. Congratulations on your Blotanical Win and the new grandbaby
    ~ hugs, Cherry

  27. Congrats on your award at blotanical and you are truly one of the most beautiful people in the blogging world.

  28. Thank you Carolyn. I didn't even know it was awards time at Blotanical until I saw your comment. I wasn't doing any blog reading at Mom's, and have been busy playing catch up now that I'm back home. I'm still shocked.

    Thank you Cherry. Congratulations on your award too!

    Thank you for your kind words Anna. And congratulations to you on your Blotanical award!

  29. It is nice to know you better Linda!


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